The Auchenipteridae or Driftwood catfish family includes about 65 species distributed throughout South America. Driftwood catfish are usually nocturnal, although some may be diurnal at some point. The most commonly imported genera are
Auchenipterichthys insignis, Parauchenipterus insignis
: An elongated species having a stocky body in the frontal regions, while becoming compressed near rear parts. The back profile is straight and the dorsal fin is tall when erect. There is a small adipose fin, and the caudal fin is large and slightly forked. The first ray of the anal fin in the male is modified into a reproductive organ for internal fertilization. The rest of the anal fin has a long base and is rounded. The coloration is variable, although the back is generally dark brown and the flanks are brownish-pink with dark brown markings. The fins are similarly marked. There are three pair of barbels branching off the mouth.
: To 6" (15 cm)
: Other Driftwood Catfish.
: South America; widespread throughout Amazon watershed
: A 36" (91 cm) or 35-45 gallon (132-170 L) tank is sufficient. The substrate should be fine gravel or sand. Provide hiding places among rocks, roots, and plants.
: pH 5.8-7.7 (6.9), 2-18 dH (10), 68-77°F (20-25°C)
: A nocturnal, peaceful species that will eat small fish. Young fish school and may be day-active. Combine with larger fish.
: Pacus, Silver Dollars,
Pimelodus, Cichlasoma, Anostomus, Hypostomus
: Live; fish, worms, crustaceans, insect larvae; tablets
: Males have a modified anal fin (urinogenital organ) which is slightly concave. The pelvic and dorsal fins are more pointed in the male.
: The male embraces the female by holding her between his dorsal fins. The eggs are deposited in a cleaned area and are guarded. The eggs hatch after five days and the fry can be first fed small live foods.
: 9. Breeding is unusual in captivity and has only been accomplished on a few occasions accidentally.
: This species is the most commonly seen Driftwood catfish in the hobby. Like other Driftwood Cats, this species has a slimy coat.
: 6. This predatory species requires live foods.